Two days to go. 88.67% done with the Christmas shopping and about 67% done with the preparations. I wonder what the percentages are for most other families. This season is both wonderful and trying because it is hard to beatifically celebrate with some sort of dignity while trying to find the right stuff at the stores among all the other people working to close they own percentages. The lake is still unfrozen but the snow is deep. The roads are clear and dry but that's supposed to change. Got to factor that in. There's always the money to consider. There's always the schedule for social activities to pay attention to.

Ice over Lake Geneva

Ice forming on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Photo shot from the 3rd floor of Stone Manor. The largest home on Lake Geneva

Christmas season isn't so much about making new friends as keeping the ones you have and appreciating them. Time is appreciation, although the right gift is meaningful too. People who don't want gifts are usually people who don't want to give them. It's too hard. Trying to find the right gift is work and finding the wrong one is too easy. The fourth Advent tree is up and my own fifth tree, the multi-colored one, will be lit tomorrow night (yes, I know that's one day early, but what the hell, it's Christmas). Socially, working to avoid politics at any event. I only thought things were polarized before but now it's like fire and ice. Cardinal Donovan was on this morning and he was talking about how yesterday was the shortest day of the year and how light is returning.

That's where you've got to put your hope...although trust in such hope comes harder and harder lately. Here's the multi-colored tree ready to go.
Merry Christmas!

Decorated Christmas Tree